Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ground Zero

It's been 9 years since the fateful "9/11." Even though some time has passed, I still want to lift up in prayer the family members and friends that were lost in that attack. Their lives changed that day, and because it was such a public and national event, they will always have to re-live it in the spotlight.

My heart breaks at the idea that so much hate has surrounded this one event. Even in recent weeks with the controversy over the plans to build a mosque near ground zero...I can't help but be embarassed and disappointed in the responses that have ignited. Logically, I don't agree with the need to build a mosque there. I personally feel it is in bad taste, and I don't agree with the teachings of Islam simply because it is not Truth. I struggle with a "religion" that teaches/tolerates hatred and violence...and yet how many things have been done in the name of Christ that Christ had no part of?

Frankly, I have been astonished at the outcry from the so-called "Christian" community. Do we not understand the concept of religious freedom? While I don't agree with the teachings of Islam, I don't think we have a right to deny them their religious freedom to build a mosque. When we start banning their religion (or any religion for that matter), we start down a slippery slope that I don't think "Christians" are prepared to face. I am grateful for my religious freedom, and for the soldiers that leave their families and fight for me to have it. I recognize that it is a unique blessing to live in a country where I have no fear of meeting with fellow believers, praying, reading the Word. If we were really honest with ourselves, and really took a look around the world, we would realize we don't know the meaning of persecution in this country.

Aside from the religious freedom, I have been angered by the hate-filled words and actions that have been thrown around in recent weeks- from people claiming Christ. And I'm not just talking about the people who get their 10 minutes of fame in the media. I'm talking about conversations I have had recently with friends, co-workers, and even strangers. Again, I am not defending Islam or even the decision to build the mosque near ground zero; it is important for believers to stand for Truth. But what would Christ say about all of this hatred and abuse? I truly believe that recent words and actions are far from the heart of God and are only grieving His Spirit. We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves (which includes our Muslim neighbors, by the way), and we are to do so with humility and grace.

We need to remember that we are in a battle for the souls of this truly how we are called to "fight"? And do we really think that hate-filled words and actions are going to show the love of Christ and win over a perishing and lost world? Please think before you speak; pray before you act; love in word and deed in a way that honors and glorifies Christ.


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